This death was shocking made for the fact that viewers saw the reveal the same time as Daryl. Merle ended up a walker, but he still managed to do one last good deed in taking down some of the Governor's men. You even secretly wished he lived.
Lori's death was a true surprise not only because she went into labor after a walker attack, but Carl then was forced to kill her. The fact that it took place so early in The Walking Dead Season 3 made it even more surprising and revealed that truly no one was safe on the show.
He was the leader of Terminus and his surprising death was at the hands of Rick’s swinging machete. Not only did he not stick around to be an antagonist to the survivors, but it just goes to show that eating people always ends badly.
She was about to return to her group when Dawn’s gun went off during the intense prisoner exchange. She definitely grew since her time on the farm, and her death was an emotional gut punch to the survivors.